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Making India Easy!



Traveling in foreign countries is always an adventure, and each new country carries it's own set of difficulties. Both socially and practically, India has it's own very specific foibles, and we are here to help you navigate through your trip preparation all the way to your final flight home with the greatest of ease and comfort. The following information should cover all of the basics, but if you have further questions, feel free to contact Indian Rose Tours at any time.







• Before You Leave:

Make sure you receive all the required vaccinations. Ask the doctor which vaccinations are needed. They should definitely include tetanus, Hepatitis A and B, Polio and Typhoid. Get those vaccinations at least 3 weeks prior to departure as some need 2 weeks to become effective. Malaria pills are not required anymore, but it's best to check with your doctor anyhow. Good places to check online are: or /

Get travel insurance.

Get a visa! In some countries you can still do this directly through the Indian Consulate, but in most Western countries you need to contact a visa company that offers express and personal services to get your visa for you, mostly reasonably priced. It can take up to 2 weeks to get your visa and it is valid from the day of issue. India changes its visa rules regularly so make sure you get up to date information about a month prior to your arrival in India. For any questions or assistance please contact Micha. He will try to help you in any way possible.

Travel as lightly as possible, but don't leave without:

A torch

Sunscreen lotion

Nonrevealing clothes, swimming gear and flip-flops or sandals

A good guide book to read on bus journeys. Recommended are the Lonely Planet (South) India and the Rough Guide

A small first aid kit with only the essentials

Tampons - hard to get good ones in most places


Mosquito repellent (though very good repellent is available in India: Odomos)

An easily concealable money belt

An easy to use and carry backpack or a suitcase with wheels

An open mind

Leave at home:

Everything that you think you might or might not need, like mountaineering shoes or winter clothes

Your Western preconceptions.









India's climate can basically be divided in three seasons:

The Hot:

In March it starts to heat up and it gets seriously hot in April and May. May is probably the worst time to be in South India, climate-wise.

The Wet:

June, July and August bring the refreshing monsoon which cools things down a bit. It usually rains very heavily for a few hours every day. South India witnesses another, smaller monsoon for about 6 weeks in and around Novermber.

The Cool:

The coolest time of the year is December through February. In South India it's still around 30 degrees Celcius (86 Fahrenheit) in daytime and but at night it cools down a few degrees, and is pleasant for sleeping. This is the best time of the year to be in the South. In parts of North India the night-temperature can drop to just above zero degrees in December and January.

It is important to note that the climate changes being seen world wide obviously also effect India. Nowadays it can be dry in July and wet in late December. Though this is still a very rare occurrence, there are no guarantees when it comes to the weather! Note also that it will be significantly cooler in the hill towns of the Western Ghats in the South and in the Himalayas in the North- a light sweater is plenty warm enough for the days you spend higher up during most of the year.









India is a country very different from your own, with more than 4000 years of nearly homogenous cultural development. This is one of her main attractions, but it is also why some people find it a difficult country to travel in. Indians have a logic we Westerners usually can't get our head around. They don't have the same ideas about privacy, personal space, time, service, and so on. It's a long list. To make your stay in India a pleasant one, our advice would be to just "observe and accept". Observe the way the Indians do things and discover, to your surprise, that it actually works! Things may sometimes take a bit longer to happen, but eventually they always do. To avoid getting frustrated, it's important to show patience and to accept that in this part of the world people do things differently. Take a deep breath, and find the humor and beauty that can be found in every aspect of this culture.

Whatever you do, don't try to change the country. It is of no use and it will probably create frustration and anger for you, while effecting the situation only in the worst possible way. To make a lasting change, you will need much more than a few days, or even years, in every place. Indians have been doing things in their own particular way for several millennia and have an impressive history to look back on. Let's try to leave our Western ideas on how things should be done behind us, and arrive in India with respect for their ancient culture and with a mind open and ready to learn. This will definitely help you to have an unforgettable time in India!


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• Money and Costs:

India uses the Indian Rupee (INR; Rps). You'll find coins of 50 Paisa (50 Cents), 1, 2 and 5 Rupees. They have notes of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 Rupees. Occasionally you may still see a 5 Rupee note. At the time of writing, the exchange rate was as follows:

1 US dollar = 51 rps

1 Euro = 67 rps

1 Pound = 82 rps

Most places you'll visit have ATMs and licensed money changers. Besides your ATM card, it's best to also take along your credit card and a few hundred euros, pounds sterling or US dollars in cash money

India caters to all budgets, so it's hard to say how much you'll need for 2 or 3 weeks South India. Do you like to splurge on food? Dinner will set you back anything from 1 euro for a simple meal to 15 euros for a real treat. Alcohol is relatively expensive (about 2 euros for a bottle of 650ml Kingfisher beer in a restaurant). Do you intend to buy many souvenirs? You can go for some cheap anklets or buy a beautiful carpet worth a few hundred euros.

If you don't go buying huge Shiva statues or expensive jewellery, you should get by with 150 to 200 euros a week. This also buys you a few beers over dinner. It's possible to spend a lot less (say, 70 euros a week on a real budget) or more!

Evaluate for yourself what kind of budget you want to keep, and give yourself some room to splurge from time to time even if you plan on keeping things tight the rest of the time. India has some wonderful ways to spoil yourself - don't miss out on all of it!


To give you an idea on prices of some commodities:

40 Rps for a pack of local Gold Flake cigarettes (10 fags)

15 Rps. bottle of mineral water

5 Rps. cup of chai at a roadside tea stall (mmmm very good!)

50 Rps. cup of chai in an upmarket hotel (not as good as the cheap one)
40 Rps. toothpaste

60 Rps. 2 Duracell AAA batteries

10 to 60 Rps. per hour for internet

50 Rps. for a thali (rice with different gravies) at a local restaurant

500 Rps. for a thali at an upmarket restaurant

70 Rps. for 650ml beer in 'wine-shop' (liquor shop)

100 to 250 Rps. for 650ml beer in a restaurant

4 Rps. English language Indian newspaper









At the end of each busy day full of new experiences, you'll find yourself ready to come back to a comfortable hotel room with a hot shower, where you can relax and evaluate all that's happened. That's why Indian Rose Tours assures that the quality of all your accommodation is of a high standard. At the "Our Tours" section you'll find links to the websites of hotels, home-stays and resorts we are currently suggesting. You can follow the links to their respective websites. Accommodation is divided in Standard, Superior and Heritage. In the unfortunate event that we cannot use the hotel of your choice, accommodation of similar or higher quality will be provided.

This is still India, so it may happen that it takes a few minutes for the water to turn hot, but think of this as time for contemplation, and then ease into your relaxing shower or bath. All hotels will obviously have clean bed-sheets, towels and hot water (eventually). Most will have A/C also. Power-cuts are very common in India, but luckily, our suggested hotels have generators, which means the power will never be off for more than a minute or so.

All hotels have at least one restaurant and breakfast throughout all tours is included in the tour price, as is all the food on the Backwaters and in Athur, where there are no alternatives nearby.


You'll have your own car (or bus) and driver for the duration of your trip. This will be what is known in India as a "Luxury A/C bus", meaning there will be air conditioning and enough leg space for us tall Westerners! You will quickly notice that the Indian style of driving is quite different from how we drive in the West - to put it mildly. Our drivers have a lot of experience driving for Westerners and drive accordingly, with your safety and comfort always in mind. They also speak English.
Some itineraries include traveling by train which can be an entertaining experience in India! You will have a reserved seat and/or bed in an air-conditioned carriage. An Indian Rose Tours representative will show you to your train-compartment and seat.



Custom Designed Tours:

Indian Rose Tours can help you create a travel itinerary that fits your express desires. Choose your own destinations, the length of stay in each place, the style and mode of your accommodation and travel, and make the most perfect Indian tour you can imagine. We would love to help you fulfil your travel dreams, so do not hesitate to contact us. We can arrange your transport (train, bus, taxi, private car with driver, plane, boat) and accommodation, all according to your budget. For ideas on itineraries please see the "Our Tours" section on this website where you can get inspired by 2 North India and 5 South India tours.


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